About us

JanetJanet© Janet Allen

Although it's OUR habitat garden, Janet has been primarily involved in its design, planting, and maintenance (though John has done the heavy lifting for paths and the ponds).

JohnJohn© Janet Allen

John works on our edible garden, described in Our Edible Garden.

We're both involved in working to invent a sustainable, yet very satisfying lifestyle described in Our Green "Good Life".

It's probably a good idea add the usual disclaimer: Although we're associated with and strongly support Habitat Gardening in Central New York, which is a chapter of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes, this website is the story of our own yard and doesn't necessarily reflect the opinions or practices of those organizations.

Other habitat gardening activities

Habitat gardening is more than a hobby—it's vitally important for the future of biodiversity and for preserving a healthy planet. Below are some of the ways Janet is involved in this effort.


Janet is president and co-founder of the local Wild Ones chapter Habitat Gardening in Central New York (HGCNY). She is a past member of the Wild Ones Board of Directors.

HGCNY's work was recognized by the Post-Standard in 2014.

Do you need a speaker for your Central New York club or organization?

Everyone likes to learn more about landscaping their yards!

Janet has presentations on:

  • Habitat Gardening for Life: An overview of basic habitat gardening principles
  • Gardening for Monarchs and Other Butterflies: Describes the monarch's fascinating life story, how to create a Monarch Waystation, and how to create a butterfly-friendly yard for all kinds of butterflies
  • On the Wings of Pollinators: Discusses the importance of pollinators, the pollinator crisis for wild bees (not just honey bees), and how people can help right in their own yards
  • Creating a Bird-Friendly Yard: Interesting facts about birds and how to enhance your yard with habitat elements especially important for birds

Contact her at hg.cny /at/ verizon.net for fees and availability. (Substitute "@" for "/at/" and eliminate spaces.)

Janet is a Toastmaster, having achieved the Advanced Communicator Gold level.


She has published articles on various aspects of habitat gardening.

Interviewed by other magazines etc.

Article in Nature's Garden
Article in Nature's Garden

The Summer 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens' special interest publication Nature's Gardens featured our habitat garden.

Our Habitat Garden is the "Streetside Buffet" in the article.


Featured FeederWatcher

Featured Participant in Bird Phenology Project Newsletter January 2015

Featured Site in YardMap


Janet is an aspiring photographer. She has won two awards, exhibited in the New York State Fair, and has even sold one photo to the Associated Press.

Newspaper contest - honorable mention © Janet Allen
Newspaper contest: honorable mention

A photo similar to this one won an honorable mention in the 2008 Post-Standard photo contest.

2010 Wild Ones Contest 3rd place© Janet Allen
2010 Wild Ones Contest 3rd place

Having taken a photography course at the local community college (people over 60 can take courses at state schools for free!), this is the first time she had an inkling of knowing what she was doing. This photograph of wild senna won third place in the 2010 Wild Ones photo contest.

Hummingbird in snow © Janet Allen
Hummingbird in snow

Janet actually sold this one to the AP, and it appeared in numerous newspapers around the country!

She admits that this was not because it was excellent photography, but just because we happened to have a hummingbird in our yard long past the time he should have traveled to Central America.

It also appeared in the Good LIfe Northwest blog.

NYS Fair Black swallowtail caterpillar © Janet Allen

This photo didn't win an award, but it was rewarding to have it accepted for display at the New York State Fair, hopefully inspiring people to appreciate the beauty of a lowly caterpillar.

Other information about Janet

  • SUNY Binghamton: B.A. in Science and Math
  • Syracuse University: B.S. in Computer Science
  • Syracuse University: M.S. in Education
  • Syracuse University: M.S. in Computer Engineering
  • Syracuse University: Ph.D. in Education

Janet is co-founder and past president of New York Interfaith Power and Light.